From "Global Warming" to "Climate Change": Ethical-Political Veiling and Unveiling
Keywords:environmental humanities, climate change, global warming, environmental ethics, climate fiction
This work takes a stand from the interdisciplinary paradigm of the environmental humanities, which problematize the concept of “climate change” usually used by social discourse to designate the extreme environmental phenomena which we are facing due to the Earth’s global warming over past decades. Applying a critical-hermeneutic method, this article reveals the conceptual-argumentative construction of ideologemes which social discourse masks behind certain linguistic expressions with the aim of neutralizing, minimizing, or eliminating human responsibility, and the consequences of the anthropogenic action upon the atmosphere and climate. The text centers on the method of environmental humanist criticism, which recovers the value of emotions and affects in the genesis of our ideas and knowledge, as well as on certain Neomaterialist theses about the agency of matter and its capacity of self-regulation. From the axis of the Anthropocene, the article challenges binarisms such as human/non-human, matter/spirit, natural/artificial, and postulates the natural within the human history or geohistory.
The text tackles the critical and creative function of cli-fi literature which, in its narrative, presents environmental hazards brought about by anthropogenic action to shake the lethargy of consciousness when faced with the environmental crisis. Climate fiction narratives are deemed close to the present and provoke affective identifications with the narrated situations and emotional reactions that ensue. They foster a critical awareness of anthropogenic destructive modes over the environment at the same time that they encourage ethical and political decision making to change them.
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